vegansaurus!

11/04/2011

It’s Rocket Dog Rescue’s 10th Anniversary Party! And we all need to go party with those dog saving superheroes and their wonderful dogs and eat, drink, dance, and hug! Especially dogs, we need to hug dogs! All the dogs! 
So, on Sunday, Nov. 6, from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Petfood Express at Stonestown Mall in San Francisco, go party with them! Seriously, stop by, and give them some high fives, because they’ve saved tens of thousands of dogs and deserve some m-effing respect! See you THERE!
ONE MORE THING: There will be TONS of free vegan eats there! Including stuff from the BRASSICA SUPPER CLUB kids and vegan cupcakes galore! Yes, please!

It’s Rocket Dog Rescue’s 10th Anniversary Party! And we all need to go party with those dog saving superheroes and their wonderful dogs and eat, drink, dance, and hug! Especially dogs, we need to hug dogs! All the dogs! 

So, on Sunday, Nov. 6, from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Petfood Express at Stonestown Mall in San Francisco, go party with them! Seriously, stop by, and give them some high fives, because they’ve saved tens of thousands of dogs and deserve some m-effing respect! See you THERE!

ONE MORE THING: There will be TONS of free vegan eats there! Including stuff from the BRASSICA SUPPER CLUB kids and vegan cupcakes galore! Yes, please!

09/02/2011

On Cropped Ears & Adopting These Cute-Ass Puppies!  »

First off: People who crop puppies ears are total idiot assholes. Secondly: People who crop puppies ears at home with box cutters and no anesthesia are like, OMG LET ME AT THEM. I know it’s our fucked society that treats people like garbage and so they in turn treat animals, kids, and the elderly like garbage, and I waiver back and forth between being mad at individuals and being mad at society and mainly, I’m just hella pissed off all the time. Mainly at society. A society that would let these two sweet puppies get their ears cut off with box cutters! Ugh!

ANYWAY, San Francisco-based Rocket Dog Rescue just got these two sweet three month old puppies in and they are SO DAMN CUTE and need foster or adoptive homes STAT! If you don’t know what fostering is, it’s the greatest and I’m too pressed for time to explain it right now (not doing anything special, just gotta eat lunch) but read this thing I wrote for the Bold Italic about it. If you don’t know what adoption is, you are… I don’t even know what you are but I’m impressed you can read this blog post!

So anyway, these two sweet loving wonderful pups are named Mack (darker guy) and Jack (lighter guy) and they need your help! If you know anyone in the SF Bay Area who might want to foster or adopt, please text Pali from Rocket Dog Rescue at 415 756 8188. Be persistent! She gets a million billion calls, emails, and texts a day and she needs to be harassed to make sure she prioritizes you and your need to cuddle one of these cute-ass puppies!

Pali says of the pups:

These pups are coming to rocket dog rescue TODAY, the pups are 3 months old, came into the shelter with a horrible home “crop job” ears cut off with box cutters, duck tapped to cardboard. poor little guys. they need extra special homes that will love and protect them. Adoptions have slowed down and we really want to get these pups into the safe and happy homes they so deserve. They are nice boys… happy, playful, and have a natural sweetness that just glows from them. This is the best day ever (so far) and every day will get only better. 

I love you, Mack and Jack! May you get the best homes ever that are deserving of your wonderful selves and may you never not know a day filled with cuddles and scratches and long walks in the sunshine and many cookies, both of the canine and human variety!

06/11/2011

Adorable deaf pit bull needs a (SF Bay Area) foster home (or forever home!) by MONDAY  »

Her name is Jane and she is so fucking cute and sweet and awesome and if I wasn’t headed out of the country for a couple weeks, I’d totally foster her!! HOWEVER, you can save her! Details copied and pasted below because I got a plane to catch, fools!

Can you help this little girl? Here’s the scoop on this dog, who needs to be out of SF Animal Care & Control by Monday—or she will not get out alive.

Perhaps you can foster, or you know someone who can foster, or if not, please forward this as widely as possible to anyone who might be
interested in rescuing Betty/Jane. Fostering is easy, fun, and best part: no commitment! You just take care of this sweet girl like she’s your own until she’s adopted. EASY PEASY.

Pali Boucher of Rocket Dog Rescue has a CIP/hold on Betty/Jane but the hold is only good until Monday. Though Pali has posted on Facebook (see below for more details), so far no one has come forward to foster Betty.

This wonderful sweet pit bull was “declined” because she failed part of her test because the tester didn’t know she was partly deaf. She needs a miracle to get her out of ACC alive by Monday. For more info please contact SF/ACC or text Pali at (415) 756.8188. If you can’t reach Pali, you can always contact SFACC directly about her at (415) 554.6364. Ask for information about animal ID number A302563, a.k.a. Jane.

Thanks so much for anything you can do.

02/09/2011

Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday!  »

Several years ago I was very lonely. I was working full-time in a video store and had very few career aspirations; I had just ended a spectacular stint of dating with someone who was awesome and attractive but with whom I had very little in common; and when I wasn’t yelling at people to put their returns on the goddamned shelf of the counter that said “RETURNS” in large capital letters I was crying and playing video games. That’s when my friend Pali (who runs Rocket Dog Rescue) called and asked if I might like to adopt a pet.

"We’ve got a lot of hamsters here." she said.
"I have now had several hamsters," I replied. "I would like to move up in the world."
"What were you thinking of?" she asked.
A rabbit. A big one.”
"There are plenty of those," she said. "Get down here before six o’clock."


I jumped into a cab to the SF SPCA immediately, and within the hour returned home with a giant black bunny whom I respectfully named Ms. Cleo. This is a good story, but it gets better. Let me tell you something about bunnies: they poop. A lot. And chew. They chew everything. Oh, and they live forever! Had I had my degree in psychology already, I would have understood that I was transferring my desire for a  ”good object” (read: a boyfriend) onto a furry animal of the wrong sex and expecting too much out of her. In time, Ms. Cleo and I came to love each other very much, and frequently hung out on my bed watching television and eating celery and pellets. However, I must stress that rabbits—and all animals, while we’re at it—are a big commitment; you really need to decide whether you’re ready to have all of your cables/clothes/bed frames chewed and pooped upon before you decide that you can adopt one. I remember (before my stint at In Defense of Animals, of course) how horrified I was to read that a tradition of the Hilton family—the Paris Hiltons—was to buy up a whole bunch of rabbits and chicks on Easter, and then give them away after the holiday was over and their cuteness had worn off (Source: Paris Hilton’s wonderful Confessions of an Heiress, which I totally own!). I also thought that this must be a very isolated thing and that most people don’t treat animals this way. Au contraire, mon frère: people are fucking ridiculous.

First, STOP GIVING ANIMALS AS PRESENTS!!! Remember the stuff I wrote before about Rabbits being a huge commitment? Yeah, that doesn’t change just because it’s their year! This seems pretty obvious to me, but in China rabbits are multiplying like crazy and wreaking havoc. Here’s what happens: Someone gets a rabbit for the New Year, they get all excited, buy a cage, and think “awesome! Now I have a friend!” Then the rabbit chews up everything and sometimes scratch. In the case of one woman, the rabbit, while adorable, chewed through every cable in the house and ate her resume to boot! Not such an awesome gift anymore, right? You know, especially since she didn’t even ask for or think of taking care of a rabbit. And you know what else? If you don’t have them fixed, rabbits will breed, leaving you with a whole bunch of offspring to deal with. Of course, some people step up to the task, but others are giving up very quickly ensuring that shelters and rabbit rescues are overflowing with rabbits whose only crime was being an animal on the Chinese Zodiac. And being criminally adorable, but that’s another story.

Second, STOP SENDING ANIMALS IN THE MAIL! Again, this is something I thought would be both common knowledge and common sense. For example, “Man, I need to return these awesome Bones DVDs to Netflix and this copy of “Band Hero” to Gamefly. OH SHIT! I forgot that I have to get John’s dog back to him tomorrow when he gets back from vacation. Hmmm, maybe I should just box and mail him as well. That way, John and the dog both arrive tomorrow and I can watch some more television instead of taking care of responsibilities—nah, too dangerous!” Don’t you wish everyone thought like that? Me too! Except people don’t! They send puppies priority mail in airless boxes with the added bonus of no food and/or water! Why? No idea! Perhaps the woman who did this thought it might be cheaper or easier to send a puppy this way. She actually went back for a refund of her money after being charged with animal cruelty! I cannot believe she did not know that mailing puppies is not the preferred way to get animals to their destination. She’s now trying to get the dog back, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon—or at all, if everyone involved is lucky.


God, seriously, let’s look at something happy for a second before my mind explodes into a giant volcano of rage and sadness. What have you got fur us today, internets? OH MY GOD, a cross-eyed opossum, you say? That can’t be! and yet! And here’s the story of Heidi the cross-eyed opossum’s rise to fame.

All better! send me links for next week and have a safe Wednesday out there!

[photo of Nuage and Bells the buns by Potentially Nervous; photo of Heidi by Sebastian Willnow/AP via the Guardian]

01/25/2011

Protest the Golden Gate Kennel Club Dog Show!  »

Here’s some whack shit about dog shows: they glorify and encourage breeding, while millions of dogs die in the shelter system each year; the American Kennel Club is an incredibly powerful lobby that cuts off any legislation aimed at curbing breeding; these shows are sponsored by gross-ass dog food companies like Pedigree and Iams (you would think these fancy assholes would know better than to feed such crap); and most egregiously, they’re not Puppy Bowl.

Dog shows are some bullshit, so go protest the shit outta this one! The only dog show I want to watch is Best in Show and that’s mainly because Fred Willard is my future grandfather. I’m not sure how that works but I’ll make it happen. 

The protests will happen from noon to 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 29 and 30, at the Cow Palace at 2600 Geneva Avenue in Daly City. All you have to bring is your own self, dressed in black. Please do not bring your animal pals!

From the organizers:

Our message will be that not only can you rescue pure bred dogs from shelters and rescue groups, but more importantly, it is not about what the dog looks like! People adopt animals because of the joy, love & complete loyalty they provide us, completing our lives & filling them with happiness. If people who buy dogs from breeders “love the breed” they would not contribute to the death and suffering of dogs in shelters of that same breed. Please come out and be a voice for these animals & let people know that breeders KILL shelter dogs’ chances at LIFE! 

For details, please contact Shani Campbell of United For Animals at (925) 819/6752
[That’s Lightnin Hopkins, a bloodhound who was rescued from a shelter after a breeder dumped him (classy!) and Fred Willard at a screening of Best in Show at The Castro. It was a fundraiser for Rocket Dog Rescue!]

12/21/2010

GIVE! Vegansaurus’ favorite charitable organizations  »

Your Vegansaurus loves giving! Especially with the internet, it is as easy to give money to an organization doing awesome work that you can’t do as it is to buy a bunch of hot-stuff underpants (for example. Nothing’s on my mind!), and really, do you need fancy new things more than people need to learn to read, or elderly animals need rescue and support? OF COURSE NOT, YOU MONSTERS.

In between the Christmas-present-buying and cookie-inhaling, let’s get spirit-of-the-season-y and donate to some extremely worthy charities. Charities don’t care whether you celebrate a religious holiday in December! They want your money, maybe your time, nothing else. So, as we finally put an end to 2010, annus horribilis, Vegansaurus offers you a short list of charities we especially love.

We each chose one local and one inter/national group, which was difficult! They all accept monetary donations online; all you have to do is choose an amount and your method of payment, and BAM, you’ve helped. Give $10, give $100, whatever you can—it’s so easy and so wonderful, and it makes you feel like $10 million.

Brianna Kaufman
My mom is on the board of directors for this wonderful organization called Haven Hills that provides immediate shelter for victims of domestic violence as well as longer-term transitional housing programs, a 24-hour hotline, counseling, etc. It’s something that both my mother and I really believe in, and since the financial crisis the organization has been struggling a lot and unfortunately might have to cut back on some services.  It’s located in Los Angeles. Donate here.

In Defense of Animals is an animal welfare advocacy organization that campaigns against animal cruelty worldwide. One of their causes that is especially close to my heart is their marine conservation campaign against the senseless dolphin slaughter in Japan. You may recognize this conservationist effort as the impetus behind the “controversial”/mind-blowing movie The Cove. Currently, all donations up to $100,00 made here will be matched. Otherwise, donate here.

Jonas Madden-Connor
Rocket Dog Rescue is where Hazel’s from and Laura is vice president and so I love them. It’s a fine and venerable institution and the dogs! They are cute! Donate here.

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition helps make biking in the city safer and more accessible. Bikes and veganism go together like Laura and beauty [Ed.: they’re always like this!]. Donate here.

Jordan Pattern
Home At Last Animal Rescue is a local animal-rescue that rescues animals from shelters where they’re likely to be euthanized. That means that they have a lot of older animals or ones with behavior problems. My husband and I adopted our dear problem cat, Lucy, from Home At Last, and they were a pleasure to work with. Lucy, who is so shy she spent her first month with us hiding under our bathtub, only emerging when we were asleep, needed someone to advocate for her and make sure she got a loving home, and Home At Last did that for her. I know I’m grateful! Donate here.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund do great work. They are a group of lawyers, legal professionals, law students, and volunteers who use the law to improve animals’—and animal activists’—lives. Some examples of the good work the ALDF has done includes filing a petition to prevent the permit renewal of a truck stop that kept a live tiger in inhumane conditions; filing a suit against BP to prevent the burning of live sea turtles as part of the BP spill clean-up efforts; petitioning the Department of Transportation to require airlines to report on the deaths of companion animals who fly as cargo; providing scholarships and internship opportunities to law students interested in animal law; and filing countless legal briefs in cases involving animal cruelty or the unfair prosecution of animal rights activists. Donate here.

Laura Beck
The Southern Poverty Law Center basically uses legal jujitsu to fight for everything good and against everything bad, and are super effective. basically, they go into areas where it’s still all mississippi burning (figuratively and literally) and attempt to set shit straight. Also, they’re matching donations up to $800,000 through the end of the year, so do it up! Donate here.

There are lots of really great rescued farm animal sanctuaries to choose from but this year, Harvest Home Sanctuary will get my dough. They’re superheroes; I can’t believe how much they do with so little. Plus, it’s in Stockton, so it’s close enough to visit and cuddle those cute-ass animals! Donate here.

Maria Diaz
The Women’s Community Clinic in San Francisco offers what is perhaps the Holy Grail: free health care for uninsured women delivered by a team of fantastic female practitioners. They focus on gynecological health but also have acupuncture and counseling for you hippies and sad girls. Donate here.

I know there’s controversy about micro-loans, but personally I think it’s a great idea and I love lending money to small businesses in developing nations through Kiva. It takes a very small amount to become a lender—the minimum is $25—and it’s so rewarding to get reports of how the business is doing. Some vegan suggestions: A Cambodian lady grows soybeans and produces tofu; an Ecuadorean man grows cocoa beans; a Lebanese man runs a coffee shop; a group of eight Ugandan people sell bananas. Find a partner here.

Meave Gallagher
I nominate Save A Bunny: you know I love a bun! They’re local, so their ambassadors get to go to all the awesome events, like VegFest, which is where I petted my first rabbit. Like cats and dogs, rabbits have unique personalities and make wonderful companion animals; like cats and dogs, rabbits are very frequently impulse-bought and quickly abandoned, making them the third most frequently euthanized animals at shelters. SaveABunny rescues rabbits from death rows all over the Bay and places them in loving homes. If you can’t adopt me a bunny for Christmas, help out some of their biggest supporters. Donate here.

Room to Read works in developing countries—so far, seven countries in Southeast Asia, and two in southern Africa—to establish libraries, and publish children’s books by local writers and illustrators in their local languages. They build schools, and focus especially on helping girls successfully complete secondary education. Vegansaurus: we love animals, food, and literacy. Reading is the best! And all kids deserve access to great books. Donate Here.

My ma gives to Opportunity House; she likes that it offers homeless people in her town both shelter and the chance to change their lives. Donate here.

Megan Rascal
Founded in SF in 2002 by author Dave Eggers and educator Nínive Calegari, 826 Valencia (the name AND the address!) is a nonprofit program that helps kids with writing! Writing is very important! Plus, San Francisco’s 826, the OG, has a Pirate Supply Store! ARRRR you paying with cash or credit? (Ha!) I know 826 is super-awesome because it is my friend Lizzy’s favorite charity and Lizzy is a genius and probably our future ambassador to China. I wish I was kidding! Lizzy, come home! The program has proven very popular and now there are 826s in eight different cites, so we can donate on the national level, or locally in San Francisco and New York.

I like Born Free USA because I HATE circuses and I LOVE elephants! The circus abuses elephants who are the super-sweetest, awesomest animals ever. They are family animals but the circus takes the babies when they are just two years old; in the wild, they aren’t even weaned until they’re four to six years old, but the younger they are, the easier they are to bully and beat into submission. You can read more about how great elephants are and how they shouldn’t be held in captivity in my previous posts here, here and here. Donate to the elephant defense fund or the organization in general; I’ll be happy with either!

We give money out of love, guilt, hope, terror, habit—not for recognition or praise, of course. We love you if you give $1 to one place, $50 to all of these organizations, and if you’re just too broke, send this link to all your friends and family with money to spare. Add your own favorite charities to this list in the comments! Thank you for being caring, thoughtful activists. We’d cover all of you with baby animals and delicious vegan baked goods if we could. And kisses, big wet grateful kisses. Happy winter holidays, everyone!

[photo by Lawrence OP!]

12/14/2010

News from Las Vegas: Why adopt Search and Rescue dogs when you can buy them?  »

Mike from Occupied Las Vegas sent a couple of photos of some adorable, adoptable dogs living at Lied Animal Shelter! This is Crosby. He has a 20 percent chance of not being euthanized!

Mike also sent us some information about a new fun way the U.S. government is helping promote dog-breeding! 
He writes,

As you probably know shelter dogs are commonly used in Search and Rescue work. They have been used successfully at Ground Zero, the recent Haiti earthquake, and, oh fuck it, here’s a listIn fact a dog named Sonic was rescued from Lied and is now working with both the Dallas, Texas Fire Department and FEMARecently the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decided to BUY 3,000 dogs from BREEDERS at a cost of $4,000 EACH. On any given day there are an average 260 dogs available for adoption at the Lied “Adoption Bungalows,” many of whom meet the breed, weight, temperament criteria to be a candidate for Search and Rescue testing; 80 percent will not find homes. They euthanize 80 to 100 dogs a day here.

I don’t have to point out the madness of a government agency paying $4,000 for a dog, while cash-strapped municipalities bear the cost of euthanizing clearly qualified animals on the other. I have been unsuccessful in trying to contact DHS to get information on how to submit candidates for their program. Sorry to be such a bummer, but I’m hoping Vegansaurus can use the power of its mighty bully pulpit to help get this changed. I’ll bet Rocket Dog Rescue has a couple of candidates right now too. Sometimes the very qualities that get a dog kicked out of his home, like hyperactivity and obsessive toy-playing, are the very qualities that make a great SAR dog. 

A couple of weeks ago I enlisted the help of a former Department of Defense Navy procurement employee who speaks fluent Governmentese. She located the phone number of the Customs and Border Protection Canine Center in Front Royal, Va. and spoke with Tim Spitler. He stated that although they had used shelter dogs in the past, their legalstaff has stopped the practice of accepting rescue dogs until they can come up with a way to do it legally, because it constitutes a gift to a federal agency.

I’m guessing the shelters would be happy to charge DHS the $4,000 if it would help them satisfy their financial regulations. I was at the Animal Shelter yesterday and there were a half-dozen Lab mixes who met the criteria for the DHS Canine Program. Crosby has the intelligence, high energy and personality to make a great service dog, but the very boldness and hyper-energy that make him such a great candidate freaked out potential adopters.

Lied is a high-kill shelter; 80 percent of these dogs will probably not get adopted.

So what can we do? Obviously, we can contact our government officials to tell them that allowing hundreds of dogs to die every day because of a legal loophole is fucking disgusting. Every patriotic reader can agree to that, regardless of where you stand on animal rights.

Look at all the adorable dogs on Mike’s Flickr page. How many of them could be living the American Dream right now? They should be given the chance to turn their innate qualities into gainful employment, just like everybody else. Why can’t they have it? Would it be so hard to write some kind of shelter dog acquisition policy? Even dog-haters can agree that saving government money is a net positive.

Tell everyone you know about this problem, and get them to contact their officials and representatives, too. If “everyone you know” are all jerks, just send them this photo of Crosby, and ask how many of them think it’s acceptable to let him die because legal issues are complicated. COME ON.

[Send your adoptable/adorable animal photos/stories to Vegansaurus!]

11/11/2010

EVERYONE! Please please please come to the super-fun Paws n’ Play benefit for Rocket Dog Rescue this Saturday, Nov. 13 at The Women’s Building in the Mission! 
From 6 to 8 pm. there’s a FREE pet fair with all sorts of awesome vendors and tons of vegan food and drinks! We’re talking vegan sandwiches from Ike’s Place, cupcakes from Fat Bottom Bakery and Sugar Beat Sweets, and cookies made with Eat Pastry Cookie Dough! There will also be tons of beer, wine, a raffle with awesome prizes, great vendors (get your holiday gifts!), adoptable ADORABLE dogs, and MORE! 
Then, from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. there will be BINGO! Served up with vegan chili pie, cornbread, and the best fucking prizes ever, including a $100 gift certificate to Millennium, Southwest plane tickets, and a signed SF Giants cap from MVP Édgar Rentería. Seriously, you gotta be there so COME! Please!
Rocket Dog is so desperate for funds right now. We want to keep up our legacy of saving the dogs that nobody else can—your pit bulls, your tripods, your one-eyed chihuahuas! Play Bingo for those who cannot! I’m crazy! See you there! Etc.!
This benefit is sponsored by The Bold Italic and Pawesome because they are the raddest best!

EVERYONE! Please please please come to the super-fun Paws n’ Play benefit for Rocket Dog Rescue this Saturday, Nov. 13 at The Women’s Building in the Mission! 

From 6 to 8 pm. there’s a FREE pet fair with all sorts of awesome vendors and tons of vegan food and drinks! We’re talking vegan sandwiches from Ike’s Place, cupcakes from Fat Bottom Bakery and Sugar Beat Sweets, and cookies made with Eat Pastry Cookie Dough! There will also be tons of beer, wine, a raffle with awesome prizes, great vendors (get your holiday gifts!), adoptable ADORABLE dogs, and MORE!

Then, from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. there will be BINGO! Served up with vegan chili pie, cornbread, and the best fucking prizes ever, including a $100 gift certificate to Millennium, Southwest plane tickets, and a signed SF Giants cap from MVP Édgar Rentería. Seriously, you gotta be there so COME! Please!

Rocket Dog is so desperate for funds right now. We want to keep up our legacy of saving the dogs that nobody else can—your pit bulls, your tripods, your one-eyed chihuahuas! Play Bingo for those who cannot! I’m crazy! See you there! Etc.!

This benefit is sponsored by The Bold Italic and Pawesome because they are the raddest best!

11/09/2010

Interview with a vegan: Lisa Congdon!  »

Lisa Congdon is a talent to be reckoned with. And by reckoned with, we mean PURCHASE EVERY PIECE OF ART SHE’S EVER MADE. Seriously, this lady is crazy-talented. My favorite pieces change moment to moment, but I’m currently lusting after this finch and "Brave Bear" (OMG I LOVE YOU BRAVE BEAR). Actually, I’ll just take one of each, please!

Lisa has lived in SF for 20 years. She is a woman entrepreneur (love) and co-owner of Rare Device, an art gallery and store that sells everything awesome and good (if you haven’t been, you are a fool who is missing out!). We love crafty vegans because they make the world a prettier place and can also design and paint stuff for the rest of us when we need it. You never know when you’re going to want a watercolor of yourself hugging a baby hippo in outer space. Actually, you probably want that right now, huh? Anyway, follow Lisa on twitter and buy everything in her Etsy store and visit Rare Device and be really happy that such a rad chick is vegan!

Vegansaurus: Are you vegan for health, environmental, animal rights reasons, or a combination?
Lisa Congdon: All three.

V: How long have you been vegan? Why did you become vegan?
LC: I have been a vegan for about two years. I had been thinking a lot about becoming a vegan for a long time, but when I did it, I did it pretty much “cold turkey,” as opposed to weaning myself off stuff over time. It’s sort of funny how it finally happened. My partner and I were visiting my family in Portland. We all love to eat, and we had this really gluttonous weekend of gorging on food, which included a lot of rich cheese. That Sunday we were at the airport for our return flight and we felt horrible and gross from eating so much crap. We went into the bookstore in the airport and we saw Skinny Bitch on the table. A friend had told me about it, so we bought it. We dove into it right away right there in the airport and read it together. We finished it before we got back to San Francisco (love the book, but it’s the Reader’s Digest version of “why be a vegan”). That same week I went a little heavier and read the The China Study and, we also went to see Food, Inc. That movie sealed the deal, and we both became vegan that same week. We’ve continued to educate ourselves as much as we can about the benefits—health, humane, environmental—of eating a plant-based diet, and feel like it was one of the most important choices I have ever made in my life.

V: What’s the best part of being vegan?
LC: There are so many amazing things. I’ve never felt so good in my life, both physically and mentally. I have far more energy than I’ve ever had, which is scary because I have always been pretty energetic. I sleep better, I never feel sick after eating—except maybe after I have the potatoes at Gracias Madre, which are completely naughty. I also feel good about causing less harm to other living creatures and the environment. I revere animals, and now I feel like I walk the talk. I can be more like Ellen DeGeneres, who is my personal hero. Oh, and I have become a mean vegan chef.

V: Do you have any companion animals? Where are they from?
LC: I sure do. First off, I have Barry and Margaret, my cats. I got them about five years ago at the SPCA. Margaret is secretary of the house. She makes sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to and if you aren’t, she lets you know. Barry lives a less stressful existence, mostly staring out the window onto the action on Capp Street from our apartment. [Ed. SO CUTE! Also, Vegansaurus HQ used to be on Capp! Perhaps Hazel barked at Barry and Margaret in your window at some point!}

Then there is Wilfredo. Wilfredo is a chihuahua I rescued from Wonder Dog Rescue about three years ago. He’s three and a half, and he’s a very good, sweet, gentle, loving boy. He’s just the kindest dog you’ve ever met, and very cuddly and amazingly loving. He’s got a really wonderful, distinct personality and beautiful green eyes. Unlike many chihuahuas, he loves people, even strangers. And he doesn’t bark, which is also pretty ridiculously amazing. Wilfredo and I will be featured on the The Bold Italic’s upcoming Pet Week [Ed.: It’s THIS WEEK and culminates in an awesome party on Saturday night at The Women’s Building in SF! The party will benefit Rocket Dog Rescue and there will be all sorts of vegan food there, including cupcakes from Fat Bottom Bakery and Sugar Beat Sweets, cookies from Eat Pastry, and VEGAN SANDWICHES FROM IKE’S PLACE! Plus, vegan chili and cornbread and BINGO and a pet fair and awesomeness! COME!]!

V: What is your favorite animal? I know, this one is REALLY TOUGH.
LC: Oh geez, I HATE this question. It’s a toss-up between dogs, horses, goats, and sheep. Although this summer I visited the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen and I really must say I have a thing for pigs. And cows. Someday I want to have a barn.

V: Does being vegan affect your art? If so, how?
LC: Not really; my subject matter hasn’t changed too much since I became vegan. That said, I make the bulk of my living doing illustration work, and I did turn down a high-profile illustration job recently—it was for a cookbook—because they wanted me to draw diagrams of animals about to go to slaughter, with the cuts of meat and the like. I said I wouldn’t do it and told them why—as professionally as possible, of course. I lost the job and I have no regrets.

V: You have lots of art with animals in it; do you have a favorite?
LC: I think my favorite animal painting I’ve ever made is the "Mountain Goat"

V: What’s your favorite vegan cookbook?
LC: That’s another hard question! It’s a toss up between Veganomicon for basics, The Conscious Cook for fancier recipes—such amazing concoctions in there and I do like Gardein a lot—and Vegan Table for awesome seasonal recipes.

V: Favorite vegan restaurant? Favorite vegan dish at a restaurant?
LCGracias Madre. I am not sure what I ever did without it. It’s also rad—and dangerous—that it’s around the corner from where I live. And my favorite dish is their naughty Papas al Horno, potatoes with cashew nacho cheese sauce!!!

V: Are you willing to have Vegansaurus over and cook us a vegan feast? If so, what day?
LC: All 11 of you? ;) [Ed.: YES! God!]

Thanks, Lisa! You’re the most amazing and we are officially in love with you. Check out our other Vegansaurus interviews and apply to be interviewed YOURSELF! Just email and we’ll totally interview your fascinating ass.

[Lisa’s amazing portrait of Wilfredo is above; all photos and art in this post by Lisa!]

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